GlaxoSmithKline reveals mixed results for diabetes contender in 'crowded area'

As has often been the case with GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) GLP-1 candidate albiglutide, a late-stage study in diabetics taking the drug and metformin offered some upbeat and downbeat data. On the experimental drug, patients had greater reductions in blood sugar than those on Merck's ($MRK) Januvia or Sanofi's ($SNY) Amaryl, Bloomberg reported. Yet with benefits came the downside of increased gastrointestinal side effects of albiglutide in GSK's Harmony 3 study. The London-based drug giant's once-weekly therapy had previously fallen short of blood-sugar control when compared with Novo Nordisk's ($NVO) GLP-1 standout Victoza, and that makes the safety of albiglutide one of its potential distinguishing factors among several marketed drugs in the class. Patrick Vallance, head of pharma research and development at Glaxo, told the news wire that the GLP-1 field is "crowded." Nevertheless, albiglutide is among a bevy of drug candidates in GSK's late-stage pipeline, which execs have hailed as evidence that their R&D mainframe is operating smoothly after a reboot several years ago. Article

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